3 Must Have Basics of Kuntao Silat

1. Survival Strategy

First and foremost Kuntao Silat is about survival.

You must understand how attacks happen.

Avoidance, Awareness & Deterrence must be trained.

One of the key principles of ANY self defense based martial art is that you DO NOT exchange with the attackers.

  • You do not square off with the attackers.
  • You do not trade hits with the attackers.
  • You do not wrestle with the attackers.

Many many people get this wrong because the art (or the practitioner) is coming from a sport based background, mindset or strategy.

Dirty kickboxing is NOT self defense.

Training to break the rules of an MMA match does NOT make your art a self defense method. Because the underlying principles and assumptions of the method are base on a SPORT environment.

Kuntao Silat Assumes:

  • You are old
  • Out of shape
  • Injured
  • Slow
  • Weak
  • Outnumberd
  • Caught off guard

Ideally none of these are the case. However as a Self Defense art we must assume they are and train to be effective anyway.

An art that cannot be effective under all these conditions at once…

  • Might be an effective military combat method…
  • It might be a winning sport method…
  • It might even be an effective brawling method…

…but it is NOT a self defense method.

So in Clear’s Kuntao Silat we Do Not Exchange with the attackers and we make sure everything bad happens to the other guy.

2. Power: Destroy What You Can Touch

Power without effort is critical.

You must have enough power to take out anything within reach…

…and you must be able to do so with little to no effort.

Because if you are old, sick, injured, etc… you may not have the luxury of putting out much effort to defend yourself.

The ‘little to no effort’ part takes some work. So we’re going to focus on that a little later.

What we can do right away is teach you how to use a bone breaking Tjimande strike and the power of the open hand to add more power to your striking without any extra effort (and probably less effort.)

3. Knives, Machetes & Baseball Bats

You must assume the attackers are also able to destroy anything they can touch.

  • They could have advanced internal power and skill
  • They might just be that much bigger and stronger than you
  • and they might be armed. (or even all three)

Either way, YOU must control every point of contact.

You learn how to use your stance and movement so that the attackers cannot reach anything vital on you…

AND in trying to do so they will have to put themselves in vulnerable positions.

Another important part of Clear’s Kuntao Silat is learning how your defense against a blade is exactly the same as your defense against an empty handed opponent and your use of a blade, stick or improvised weapon is also exactly the same as your empty handed fighting method.

This and more is taught in the Kuntao Silat section (first 4 weeks) of our Internal Combat Arts Course.

Get started now:


16 Kun Tao Silat Lessons & 9 Qigong Lessons in 4 weeks.

So the Internal Combat Arts Course is now available,

…and people have been asking what exactly is being taught during this 16 week program.

In the first 4 weeks there are 16 Kun Tao Silat lessons & 9 Qigong lessons.

The work you do in this section builds skills you need for the Xing Yi, Ba Gua & Tai Chi that comes later in the program.

But first, the Silat.

Lesson 1: Kun Tao Silat 

 – Understanding why an art does what it does is very important to any long term success in that art.

Lesson 2: Avoidance & Awareness

 – Some key skills you must train if you ever want to actually be able use these arts for self defense

Lesson 3: Do Not Exchange with the Attackers

 – Learning how to make sure everything bad happens to the other guy is a key principle in all combative (i.e. not sport) arts.

Lesson 4: Closest Available Target (gifts)

 – Learn how to use the gifts your opponent gives you.

Lesson 5: Rolling Tjimande Strike

 – Learn a powerful bone breaking strike. This begins to lay the foundation for some Internal striking you’ll get to later.

Lesson 6: The Open Hand

 – All of these arts use the open hand extensively so it’s very important for you to understand it’s power.

Lesson 7: Attitude & Power

 – The correct mindset when using Kuntao Silat will add a tremendous amount of power to your technique.

Lesson 8: Stance

 – Location, Location, Location. Understanding where and how to position your body is absolutely critical to success. The vast majority of martial artists do this WRONG.

Lesson 9: Empty Hand VS Knife

– Silat always assumes blades are involved. Even if you carry a blade (or any weapon) you will not always have access to it. It is vital to understand the realities of defending yourself against an armed opponent and incorporate that into every aspect of self defense training.

Lesson 10: Hamburger Range (close the distance)
 – In Knife work, controlling distance is VITAL.

Lesson 11: The Power of Soft: Defeating Destructions

 – Kuntao Silat likes to attack aggressively with the hard parts of the body (elbows, knees, fists, etc…) and it assumes the attackers will also (like an aggressive Thai boxer for example.) Understanding how softness can defeat this method is very important.

Lesson 12: Grappling

 – The study of grappling in Kuntao Silat can get very extensive and elaborate. For now, we are going to keep it simple and immediately street practical by focusing on the question: “What if they grab you?”

Lesson 13: Hands Free Holds

 – When Silat grapples, not only do you trap, lock and break your opponent but you do so while keeping your hands free whenever possible.

Lesson 14: Tackles

 – In which we answer the question: “What if they try to tackle you?”

Lesson 15: Takedowns

 – In which we answer the question: “What if they try to pull your legs out from under you?”

Lesson 16: Games & Drills

 – Learn some of the games we use to build a variety of important skills.

You’ll also start building a strong Qigong practice. 

This part may seem mostly health oriented at first but if you train this diligently it will have a profound impact on your martial ability and power later.

Chi: Energy Activation Cultivation & Flow

Lesson 1: Relaxation

 – Absolutely critical to your internal development and your health.The cultivation of true relaxation (song) is a never ending process.

Lesson 2: Awareness

 – Learn how to begin feeling and understanding what is going on internally. (this is absolutely necessary for high level internal skills.)

Lesson 3: Quiet The Mind

 – Another key skill for both long term health and advance internal ability.

Lesson 4: Activating Yin & Yang

 – We begin working on this idea by working with two body states that you’ll use over and over in our training: Heavy & Light.

Lesson 5: Wu Chi

 – Learn the fundamental internal alignment that everything else is built on.

Lesson 6: Rooting

 – Another absolutely vital skill for success in these arts. (and one that is misunderstood and not trained correctly by most INTERNAL Martial Artists.)

Lesson 7: Body Connection

 – Learn how to connect the body so you can use it as one whole piece. This will greatly benefit your health and is crucial for all the arts we do.

Lesson 8: Removing Blockages

 – Blockages will cause health problems and limit the effectiveness of any Qigong or energy work.

Lesson 9: Energy Alignment

 – Keeping your “energy” properly aligned has a bunch of health and martial benefit over time.

So that’s everything we teach in the first 4 weeks of this course.

In weeks 5 – 8 we build on this with some Xing Yi Quan training and more Qigong but I’ll talk about that later.

If you’re ready to learn this stuff head on over to:


This is an online course so you can get started as soon as you join. (You don’t have to wait on any shipping.)

When Martial Artists ATTACK!

A couple days ago, I mentioned that someone with training can be deadly enough empty handed that you must defend yourself as if they had a knife.

And that brought this response:

“Realistically, when will I ever be really attacked by a Martial Artist?“

“If we’re talking self defense aren’t we talking about your common thug, street criminal or gang member?”

The answer is:

Yes, we are talking about self defense.

Yes, we are talking about thugs, street criminals, gang members and whoever else.

and Yes, those are trained and skilled martial artists.

They may not have a belt, a uniform or a pair of Boxing gloves. They may not have a name for what they do.

But they most likely have more real world experience than you.

And they most likely have at least semi-formal training from folks with a lot of hands on practice.

In Clear’s Silat we always assume the attacker is skilled, armed & has friends.

Training is much more fun that way.

(and useful)

You can get started learning all this fun and useful stuff with our 16 week Internal Combat Arts Course:


Knife fighting & Empty Hand are the same

There is a MYTH out there,

…that empty hand fighting is somehow different from knife fighting.

 A lot of folks assume that an empty handed attacker is less dangerous.

 Because poor quality training is so common they are often correct.

 But a skilled attacker…

 …one who’s had some quality training…

 …can do a lot of damage without a weapon and with very little effort.

 In much the same way an unskilled attacker with knife can do a lot of damage with very little effort.

If you let them touch you, there’s a very high chance they can do enough damage to be a serious problem to your health.

So if you respond to an empty handed attacker as if they are any less dangerous than an armed one, you are setting yourself up for failure.

This is why we respond as if the attacker is armed.

Even when we’re training empty handed.

Learn how this works with the Internal Combat Arts Course:


Oh, and this also works the other way.

Even when I’m empty handed I move as if I had a knife. But I’ll talk about that some other time.

In case you need another reason:

A large percentage of knife attack survivors will tell you they had no idea a knife was involved until well AFTER the attack was over.

So, assuming you will know whether an attacker is armed or not is a big mistake as well.

Broken Rhythm

For fighting purposes Broken Rhythm refers to the idea of constantly changing your pace, your timing, your speed and what techniques you are throwing.

Examples of pace include walking, crawling (slow motion type speed), skipping, jogging, light running and sprinting etc.. Your timing can change based on what kind/speed of motion you are doing and when you are doing it. For example if you start running then stop then break into a jog and then just start walking while in motion to fight. Your technique speed can be faster or slower to mess with the timing and / or movement of the other person.

The idea in broken rhythm is for the opponent to never know what you are going to do next. If they can figure your movement out in advance then you are not truly moving with a broken rhythm and are probably moving with a pattern or rhythm of some kind.

The primary benefit of broken rhythm is that the opponent can not figure out what you are going to do next. The downside is that to truly move with broken rhythm you must constantly change and not repeat a pattern which is mentally and physically very demanding and tiring so that most people can not keep up the demanding pace for very long.

A good drill to work on Broken Rhythm is to have your training partner point their finger at you pretending they have a gun and if they can figure out where and when you are going to be before you get there then they yell bang and drop their thumb to indicate shooting. If they get you quite a bit then you should ask them what they are seeing or picking up on that is repeating and / or giving you away so that you can fix the problem.